Autism Assessment & Diagnosis

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Do you know a child showing signs of autism? Contact us if you would like to book an assessment.  

In order to be accepted for support services through Autism SA in Adelaide, children need to have an assessment by two differently qualified professionals experienced in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, and accredited by Autism SA. Assessments are available publically through Autism SA, and Child Development Units at the Lyell McEwin Health Service, Women's and Childen's Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre. Waiting times apply to these services so families may opt for a private assessment.

Private assessments are available through accredited private speech pathologists, paediatricians and psychologists. Autism SA can provide a list of accredited professionals. Children must be assessed by two people from different professions i.e. a speech pathologist and a paediatrician or a psychologist and a speech pathologist. Talking Matters have speech pathologists and a psychologist who are accredited with Autism SA to complete diagnostic assessments. 

To collect the information required for a diagnosis we need to collect information about your child from a range of environments and interactions and get the best possible picture of your child's day to day functioning.  Information is collected from parents both in questionnaires and face to face discussion.  We also collect information from questionnaires and sometimes phone calls with other care providers, such as schools, childcare and health professionals.  We also meet and interact with the child themselves.  From the child's perspective this usually looks like either a play session or a conversation about things they like and don't like. Because we work with lots of children, many of whom have autism spectrum disorders we know how to keep you and your child as comfortable as possible. 

Whether you require a single diagnostic assessment or would like the entire assessment completed on one day, Talking Matters can help.  You can choose either an individual assessment or joint assessment when making your appointment with us. 

Assessments at Talking Matters

For information on fees and rebates available for these options, see Talking Matters Assessment Fees.  More information about assessment and therapy at Talking Matters can be found by searching the Talking Matters blog.

Individual assessments including report, requires two, one hour appointments, one with the child and one in which information is gathered from the parents. These sessions may be claimed under the assessment schedule of the Medicare Autism Initiative.

Joint assessments including a report are conducted one day per fortnight by a speech pathologist and psychologist. The child and their carer attend for a 90 minute appointment in the morning. Where possible the parents are interviewed by one of the professionals while the other professional works with the child. After this appointment the professionals meet and discuss all of the information collected and prepare for the afternoon meeting. The parent/s then return after lunch for a 30 minute appointment to discuss the outcome of the mornings session. These sessions may be claimed under the assessment schedule of the Medicare Autism Initiative where appropriate referrals are in place, providing up to 4 Medicare Rebates on this process. 

You will be asked to complete a set of forms we will email to you and return them before your assessment so your clinician has time to prepare before meeting you.  We also need information from your child's teacher.  To help you talk to your teacher about this form we have written this letter to the teacher (pdf) that you can print and take to school or childcare.  Please follow up and ensure your teacher does complete this information as their input is important also. It is best to return this information a couple of days before the appointment if possible.  If you are not able to return it prior please bring it with you on the day of the assessment.

Contact us if you would like to book an assessment.

There is more useful information about autism in the Talking Matters blog.

 

 

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